by Jewelle Mendoza-Reyes
We Catholics honor our Blessed Mother Mary in many different ways. We pray the rosary, we remember her feasts, we have the Five First Saturday devotions, we wear sacramentals such as the brown scapular and the Miraculous Medal. In the Philippines, we have the Our Lady of Perpetual Help devotion on Wednesdays and the Flores de Mayo in the month of May, to name a few.
The utmost purpose of any devotion or honor given to our Lady is to know, love and serve her Son, Jesus Christ. By honoring her and imitating her, we are brought closer to Jesus through her powerful prayers and motherly love. It also makes us praise and thank our Lord even more for the gift of a loving Mother, always willing to intercede for our needs.
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
While I am familiar with most of these devotions, little did I know that there is a formal way of honoring our Lord Jesus through her. Early this year, I was invited to do a Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary by a sister in our community.
So what is Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary?
Commonly known as Marian Consecration, it is an act of entrustment of oneself to the maternal care of the Blessed Mother: body, soul, goods both interior and exterior, and even the merits of all our good actions.
It is also an act of allowing Mother Mary to complete her motherly task in us, forming us more perfectly into Christ’s own image.
33 Days to Morning Glory
Consecration takes place on a Marian feast day. To prepare one’s heart and mind for the consecration day, you will undertake a do-it-yourself retreat that lasts for 33 days.
I am fortunate to have been invited to a group retreat. A Facebook group was created for all the retreatants. The retreat coordinators enjoined us to use Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, as guide for the entire retreat. The book is an adaptation of St. Louis de Montfort’s 33-day period of prayerful preparation for Marian Consecration.
To supplement our retreat, they also posted a YouTube video (tinyurl.com/MarianConsecration33days) each day where a priest, Fr. Adam Potter, gives his reflection on the readings. Guide questions were also posted daily on our FB group.
I took the 33 days of preparation to heart. I didn’t miss a day and tried my very best to keep up with the daily schedule. Before even opening the book on Day 1, I said an intimate prayer to the Holy Spirit and Mama Mary to guide me throughout the retreat. I dedicated 30 minutes each night to spiritually read the reading for the day and to watch the YouTube video of Fr. Adam. Afterwards, I spent a few minutes for personal reflection.
Admittedly, there were some days when I had more questions than digestion. There were statements I could not make sense of (my “huh” and “hmmm” moments). But I just kept going and continued to trust Mama Mary and her spouse, the Holy Spirit. With a submissive heart, I remained steadfast and was able to complete the 33 days. I had my Consecration on March 25, Feast of the Annunciation, with an online mass and consecration rites organized by the retreat coordinators.
Brand New Morning
I am more than joyous for an illuminating 33-day journey. The preparation days gave me fresh eyes to gaze upon our dearest Mother with so much love and honor, to call upon her with a dependent and childlike heart, to experience her tender care and to allow myself to be led by her.
I have never been this excited to get closer to our Blessed Mother anew. I realized that the more I unite myself to her, the more she can bring me into intimacy with Jesus. The consecration marked the beginning of a gloriously brand-new morning in my spiritual journey.
My consecration day and the miraculous medal pendant on a card given to me by my journey partner as a gift.
The Devotion to Mary
In his book, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort says “If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ, and to provide an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ. If devotion to Our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil; but so far from this being the case, devotion to Our Lady is, on the contrary, necessary for us—as I have already shown, and will show still further hereafter—as a means of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, of serving Him faithfully.”
Can’t you get enough of honoring our Blessed Mother? Allow her to transform your life in ways you cannot even begin to imagine. Give her your “YES” through a total consecration. The more profound your “yes” becomes, the more she can complete her God-given mission in you.